SAN JOSE, CA – Each year the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is responsible for selecting up to five winners for the Texas Instruments Innovations in STEM Teaching Awards. The Innovations in STEM Teaching Award honors Santa Clara County public school teachers who are sparking their middle- and high-school students to enjoy and excel in science, technology, engineering, and math. This year, three excellent teachers were selected for this honor.
Darren Dressen, Los Altos High School, Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District
According to the nominators in his district, "Darren is the dream science teacher for a public school. He has advanced training and professional experience in his scientific field, so he brings high-leveI content knowledge and real-world laboratory experience into his classroom. Students own their learning experience in this classroom because of their interest and motivation, but mostly because Darren has created, structured, and facilitated this extraordinary STEM learning experience."
Dr. Madeline Dasalla, Silicon Valley Career Technical Education Center, Metropolitan Education District
In her nomination, her colleagues said, "Dr. Dasalla teaches Medical Science/Health Careers courses, to high school juniors and seniors interested in possible careers in various fields within science, medicine, and public health. She has created a program where students take part in hands-on lab work, research, present lectures and findings to faculty and panels of healthcare professionals. She effectively fosters students' curiosity and thirst for knowledge, through self-discovery and immersion in the content."
Sridaya Mandyam-Komar, Calaveras Hills High School, Milpitas Unified School District
According to her colleagues in the district, "Sridaya is a dedicated teacher of continuation high school students who exemplifies a high level of professionalism, dedication towards her students, and commitment to teaching STEM education. She developed a course in engineering that now has approximately sixty alternative education students turned on to engineering in a powerful way that could change the trajectory of their lives. Sridaya demonstrates the commitment to students that this award seeks to honor."
Each teacher will receive a cash award of $1000, the opportunity to attend a professional development event at the SCCOE, and be honored at the 48th Annual Teacher Recognition Celebration on September 14. The SCCOE produces the annual gala with the generous support of community partners Texas Instruments, Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union, and the San Jose Mercury News.
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